Improving Social-Emotional Health: Expansion of Teacher and Student Wellbeing during the COVID-19 Crisis in Honduras
The Honduran education system was caught off guard when COVID-19 struck the country. With effectively no training or preparation and very few resources, educators across the country began providing distance learning classes in mid-March 2020. Overnight, educators faced significant obstacles in their quest to keep young people studying—teaching classes to students they could not see and engaging young people who lacked technology. Teachers and students began to experience social-emotional problems. This field note describes how the United States Agency for International Development’s Asegurando la Educación project transitioned in-person social and emotional learning (SEL) activities in 135 schools to provide virtual SEL support to hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries across the county. We outline the SEL interventions that contributed to the lowest national dropout rate in five years, and enrollment rates in Asegurando’s 135 schools some 5 percent higher than the national average. Finally, we believe this field note will contribute to the evidence base for how SEL can improve mental health and school retention during future crises.
The authors discuss their work in the Behind the Pages podcast episode embedded below: